Good, but inadequate, provisions in new proposals: Goa-based NGO

first_imgThe proposed Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018 has some good provisions, but may not address the demands of the victims and survivors of commercial sexual exploitation, says a Goa-based social work organization, ARZ, committed to combating such trafficking across the country.Speaking to The Hindu here on Tuesday, Director of ARZ, Mr. Arunendra Pandey asks, “Undoubtedly, the Bill has some good provisions but can that be the only reason for demanding it’s passage in Parliament?Mr. Pandey, who recently documented views of such survivors and victims from across the country, said that most of the victims and survivors feel that only prosecuting traffickers is not enough.“During our interactions with victims of commercial sexual exploitation and sex workers, both have shared that they want protection from prosecution, non-shelter-based rehabilitation, livelihood alternative/job, house, and pension,” said Mr. Pandey. But the Bill does not address most of these demands, he added.As a major stakeholder in combating this crime, that collaborates with law enforcement agencies and also undertakes rehabilitation work in a big way, NGOs working towards this cause should have been consulted in a comprehensive and a transparent exercise, Mr. Pandey said.“Have the NGOs supporting this Bill informed the beneficiaries that in the name of “right to rehabilitation” they have been provided the option of choosing between a “Protective Home” and a “Rehabilitation home”. I wonder if they know that even if they are victims they can be prosecuted for soliciting, indulging in commercial sexual activity in a public place, lack of proper documents, etc.,” Mr. Pandey said.“Should the NGOs in the best interest of the victims, be demanding the passage of the Bill in its present form or to send it to the Parliament select committee for review?” he asked.ARZ has rehabilitated many women from the erstwhile red-light area of Baina in the port town of Vasco in south Goa, through an alternate livelihood option provided by “Swift Wash,” a mechanised laundry unit.On the occasion of “World day Against Trafficking in Persons” on July 30, ARZ will release a documentary series “Mandi” which will kick off a # MeToo victim of sex trafficking campaign to create awareness, in Panaji, Mr. Pandey said.“Mandi” consists of four movies highlighting experiences of victims of trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation at different stages. Of these, “Helpless” emphasises reasons for entry, “Commodity,” the truth about life in commercial sexual activity, “Opportunities,”about demands and experiences around exiting, and “Misconceptions,” which details how society misunderstands these victims.“The voices in these documentaries are of victims from red light areas of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Goa,” said Mr. Pandey.For this initiative, ARZ is collaborating with the Mumbai-based Centre for Criminology and Justice, Tata Institute Of Social Sciences.last_img read more